Another example of excellent customer service.

English: By Michael Katz Aldi in Bethlehem, PA...

English: By Michael Katz Aldi in Bethlehem, PA taken at sunset, gamma corrected to make it lighter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After my visit to the pulmonologist today, I stopped at Aldi to buy some produce.  I don’t shop at Aldi very often simply because they usually only have one check out open (granted, those cashiers are lightning fast), but I was off work today and needed some veggies.

After picking up some tomatoes, strawberries, avocado, lettuce, and cucumbers, I made my way to the front of the store.  Yep, you guessed it…the line was long.  Several folks were in front of me and only one register running.  As I got closer, I could hear the cashier talking with the customers as they came through her line.  Holy moly, this lady was just chatting with everyone while ringing them up.  She was so friendly and actually remembered several of her customers.  The lady in front of me forgot to pay for a couple of bags until after we were already into my transaction.  The cashier told her not to worry about it, that she’d buy the bags for her as she quickly made a note of it.  I was getting ready to tell her to add it to my order, when the guy behind me reached over and handed the cashier some change.

I walked out of the store with a smile on my face just because people were so nice to one another.  Oh yeah, and I emailed the corporate offices of Aldi when I got  home just to let them know they have a great employee in Cheryl.

Kindness really does breed kindness, doesn’t it?

Great customer service at Amazon

Image representing Amazon as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Seriously, you usually hear about customer service issues when the customer service leaves something to be desired.  But not today.  Nope, I’m pretty happy with my experience today.  I had a package that was supposed to have been delivered last week, but I was so sick that I didn’t really look into it until yesterday.  I logged into my UPS account to track the package.  UPS said it was delivered and that someone with a name other than mine signed for it.  So I thought I’d check and see if the UPS driver had dropped the package off at the office.  No…didn’t happen.

So I went on to email them about the situation, explaining that I live by myself and that it’s not possible that someone at my house would have signed for the package, that it hadn’t been signed for at the office or by any of my neighbors.  And I asked them what they were going to do about it.

Well, after checking my email several times today with no response from UPS, I decided to contact Amazon directly.  I clicked on help, then on one of the links there to contact customer service…had the option of email, phone call, or chat.  I chose chat and was connected with Fidel.  After asking a couple of questions, Fidel was able to immediately order a replacement for me at no cost and I’ll get it Monday.  Wow!  He apologized for the inconvenience and set it all up…quick, easy, and exactly what I was hoping for.

Do I appreciate great customer service?  You bet I do!  Will I continue to shop at Amazon?  Heck yeah!!

Question of the day

This is a selfmade image from the english wiki...

This is a selfmade image from the english wikipedia. The photographer has uploaded it as GFDL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been asking myself this since I woke up this morning…Do I really, REALLY need to go to WalMart today?   I had planned to swing by there after work yesterday since I work on the same side of town.  I got in my car and decided I didn’t really want to stop at WalMart at 5 pm.  So I decided I’d go early this morning.

Ha!  Right.  I can’t seem to convince myself to pick up my list and drive over there.  I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this (cough, cough), but I absolutely hate shopping at WalMart.  Yes, they usually have lower prices, but then you have to deal with the other customers and the workers who totally ignore you and the shelves that aren’t stocked and the pallets of merchandise completely blocking the drive aisle and the two out of twenty or thirty registers that are open and so on and so on.

So, after careful deliberation, I’ve decided there’s nothing I need so desperately today that I’m willing to ruin a perfectly good day off work by making a trip to WalMart.  Maybe I’ll stop after work tomorrow….

I give up!

Purity, coconut milk and nail polishes

Purity, coconut milk and nail polishes (Photo credit: J. Gimme™)

Really, I just have to give up.  I’ve been trying to be more frugal, not spend money needlessly, buy less expensive products.  But I’m drawing the line on my facial cleanser.  I’m 50 something years old, isn’t that too old to be getting pimples?

See, I have used Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple cleanser for several years and always had great results with it.  But my frugality had me looking elsewhere for effective, gentle cleansers.  Well…okay…yes, I can buy cleansers that cost a lot less.  I can even buy them with coupons.  But when they cause my skin to break out, I have to ask myself if they’re even worth the price I’m paying for them.  And the answer is a resounding “NO!!”, not if they’re not going to do the job.

I hear people say that all cleansers are basically the same, but the Purity is the only one I’ve ever used that doesn’t cause me to have break outs…really.  So…I’m done.  I give up.  I went online and placed an order for the super size bottle (which will last me at least the rest of the year).  And you know what?  I don’t even feel guilty about it.  What I do feel guilty about is buying these less expensive cleansers and then throwing them out halfway through the bottle because they’re causing issues with my skin.

So, that’s it.  The next time I’m trying to be frugal with my facial cleanser, would someone please remind me of this post???

My lifelong love affair…

…with soap…seriously.  I’ve always loved different and unique soap.  And nowadays there are so many different handcrafted soaps out there that you could use a different soap every day.

A year or so ago, a customer brought in a bar of her green tea soap for me…all I had done was give her a call when we got this big, huge, gigantic tub of soap making stuff in…and she was so appreciative that she  wanted me to try her soap.  She raises the herbs that she uses in her products…which, as someone who used to have a good-sized herb garden, I think is pretty cool.

Then last week I won a giveaway (have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy giveaways?) for a bar of handcrafted, organic soap…it came today…haven’t used it yet, but it smells delish… out what they have to offer if you have the time…








unique soap










I’ll be trying this tomorrow night…it smells so good…invigorating…

So do you use soap or body wash?



It’s heeeere…


the long anticipated package










What could it be?











Here’s a little hint for you…


Spook has to get involved











Have you figured it out yet?



Looking at cameras

Photography Course - The Camera: Different kin...

Photography Course - The Camera: Different kinds of digital cameras - Lesson 1 (Photo credit: Marco Crupi Visual Artist)

After I got off work today, I went over to Best Buy on the east side of town (whew…won’t even talk about all  of the road construction…crazy) to look at cameras.  Of course I have a little point and shoot digital camera and it does okay…but just okay.  I read several blogs daily and am always blown away by the stunning photography I see.   I’d kind of like to be able to publish those types of fabulous pictures myself.

I looked at a couple of Canon models and a Nikon model, along with several different lenses…nope, I didn’t buy anything..this is a huge decision to make, those DSLRcameras are a tad more expensive than my little point and shoot thing.

So what kind of camera do you use?  Anyone have any recommendations for me?

Trippin’ at WalMart

A picture of the inside of a remodeled Walmart...

A picture of the inside of a remodeled Walmart in Miami, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, allow me to say, I hate shopping at WalMart!  With a passion!  Yes, they have low prices…but that’s the only positive I see in shopping there.  Customer service is nonexistent.  Invariably, something that I want (or several things I want) are out of stock.  The stores are much too large for a quick trip…whatever I want is going to be in the far corner…always.  They have hundreds of check-out lanes and usually have only 2 or 3 open.  Long lines, long waits…

Having said all of that, I did make my once quarterly shopping trip to WalMart today.  I’ve been putting it off for something like two weeks now.  I’ve told myself I was too tired after work to face the mobs there.  On my days off, I’ve convinced myself that I will stop after work the next day, then, that day, I can’t make myself do it.  So, this morning, I got up, got ready and headed out the door before I could talk myself out of making the trip.

Were they busy?  Of course.  As busy as they would be this afternoon?  Probably not.   Surprisingly, I was unable to get only one item on my list (do I take a list?  You betcha!  I’m not walking up and down all of those aisles and buying more than I need) and I was able to pick it up at Kroger for just about the same price.

It didn’t take me as long as I thought it would.  And of the 3 check-out lanes open, the one I walked up to got me through pretty quickly.  Yes!!

But, let me ask you a question…do you think the people who shop at WalMart view that as the kind of store where you don’t really have to get dressed to go shopping?  I didn’t get all dolled up to go there, but I did throw on some clean clothes and a little make-up, styled my hair, you know, the basics.  Women there with rather large busts wearing skimpy little spaghetti strap tops (of course with their bellies showing), short shorts that were very tight and left nothing to the imagination.  One lady was wearing a t-shirt with food on it (actual food, not a picture of food)…and yes, Simone, the pajamas, always the pajamas…altho, I must say, I see this everywhere…I live in a major college town and this has become a common look.

Am I being too critical?  Maybe.  I’d love to have the body confidence to feel comfortable wearing things like that (well, maybe not the food on my shirt) in public…I try not to judge people by how they look, goodness knows, I’ve had those judgements made about me in the past.  And ultimately, I guess it’s no one else’s business how you dress.  But sometimes it is kind of funny!!

Dancing in the dark

Electricity Pylon, crossing lines Deutsch: Abs...

Electricity Pylon, crossing lines Deutsch: Abspannmast mit sich kreuzenden Freileitungen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, I wasn’t really dancing in the dark…that one was for you, Simone…but I was working in the dark today.  We went in to work early to try to get some work done..and I think I was pretty successful with accomplishing quite a bit before we opened.  Then we just kept working on our projects once we opened.  I finally took lunch.  When I came back, Chris took his lunch.  And what do you suppose happened while he was gone?  Oh no…the lights went out…in the entire store…all of the power went out.  I gathered up some flashlights, then headed outside to see if any of the other stores in the strip were affected (yes, they were…every single one of them).  That’s when Chris came walking up through the parking lot.

He stood outside the doors letting people know that we were closed due to a power outage…we let the people who were already in the store continue shopping, as long as they were going to be able to pay with cash or a check…I tell you, it’s mind-boggling how much you can’t do without electricity…let’s see, of course the registers were down, the RF guns were down (so we had to run back and forth looking up prices when people wanted to check out), the computers were down (duh), oh yeah, and the phones were down.

Chris tried calling the electric company on his cell phone…of course, they track your address through your phone number.  So he gave up and told me to call, not realizing that the phones in the store weren’t working.  I got my cell phone out and called and, after much number punching, got a live person!  She explained that a circuit had locked (huh??  what does that mean?  can’t you get a key and unlock it?) and it should all be fixed by 4 pm (this happened a little before 1 pm).  So once we got all of the customers out of the store and the doors locked, we were trying to get a little work done by flashlight.

One of the girls went out to her car and got a headlamp that she uses to go caving (we have some very interesting people working there…), picked up what she’d been working on, and finished the job.  You go, girl!!

Eventually, the power was restored and we were able to allow customers back into the store.  But it was a good time dancing…err…working in the dark for those few hours~~

What’s in your grocery cart?

I finally gave in and made a trip to Kroger this morning.  I ran out of bread a couple of days ago, but didn’t want to stop at the grocery store after work that day because it was snowing. The snow itself didn’t keep me from shopping that evening.  I just didn’t want to deal with all of the crazy people who hear the word “snow” and decide they need to go out and buy enough food for a month.  So I did without…no big deal…

I’ve got plenty of oatmeal so I took some to work and had that for breakfast.  I had soup and salad for lunch for a couple of days.  I had a baked potato and cottage cheese for dinner.  I’m really making the effort to eat the food I buy and not throw things away just because I was too lazy or too tired or too whatever to prepare something.

This was the second week in a row where I bought only healthy foods…no frozen pizza, no chips, no candy, no cookies…wow!!  Now I’m not saying I’m not eating the occasional piece of candy.  I have some candy left over from Christmas and I’m allowing myself to have a piece if I’m still within my calorie range at the end of the day.  But the funny thing is, I don’t always want a piece.  How cool is that?

I came close to staying within my $50 a week food budget…spent $53, so not bad.  I did buy a couple of things that weren’t on my list when I saw them on sale.  I try to stock up on things that won’t go bad when I find them on sale for a good price.  One of the crackers I really, really like is this flaxseed cracker by Back To Nature…

Then, in the dairy case, I  came across these Laughing Cow spreads that go perfectly with the crackers for a healthy, fairly low-cal snack…

So those were my two purchases that put me over my budgeted amount for the week…hey, I figure it could have been worse!!

What else did I buy?  Let’s see…grapes, green onions, bananas, Greek yogurt, skim milk, coffee creamer, cottage cheese, whole wheat sandwich thins, tuna, diet Pepsi (uh..yeah…I’m still drinking it…one thing at a time…get the eating under control, then think about kicking the diet Pepsi habit), eggs (wow, has the price of eggs gone up?!), a couple of boxes of Morningstar Farms products (I tried the bacon for the first time last week and I am hooked!)…and my Saturday off indulgence…a newspaper.  I used to subscribe, but ended up not reading more than half of the papers that were delivered to my house…I decided that was a waste of my money and a waste of some perfectly good trees.  So, on my weekend off, I treat myself to the newspaper…not such a terrible indulgence, is it?

I’m feeling pretty good about making healthier choices..oh, and have I mentioned that I’ve lost 8 pounds since the first of the year?!

So what was in your shopping cart?